This has been a long time coming.
I have wanted to create a Star Trek uniform since I was about 12 years old and just barely diving into the world of sewing. When I started cosplaying in jr. high and high school, I got made fun of a lot for liking Star Trek so I never really felt like making my dream cosplay back then. I'm actually really glad I waited because I feel like my skills have developed a lot in the last couple years! The craftsmanship isn't perfect, but I put a lot of work into it and I'm pretty happy with the final product! I first wore this to Salt Lake FanX in September.
Total time spent: ~25 hours
I realized when I was going through my photos that the photos I took of the pattern layout disappeared! I usually don't save my patterns unless I spend a really long time drafting them and on this one I didn't so I unfortunately I can't share the exact patterns/layouts now but I did use this Simplicity pattern for the pants and simply left out the waistband and connected it to the top.
I have used this pattern for all of my (rare) projects involving pants and it works really great! I found that for my tall form with a long torso I had to add a little extra length in the legs and at the top but it works perfectly for my curves!
I also took in the shape of the legs a little later when I realized they were too wide at the bottom. It would have been easier to do this initially.
Creating the yoke was easily the most satisfying part! I used two layers of thick interfacing (I forgot the actual name but it's a kind of similar to very thin quilt batting, it feels kind of like felt) to create the structure I wanted for the quilted effect. One layer may have been enough, but I liked the extra structure two provided with the polyester suiting fabric I used. I wanted to limit the stretch of the fabric on the yoke to avoid complications.
I loved doing all these lines of stitching. They are about 1/4" apart. I marked them all with chalk before sewing which made the process a lot easier. It was so satisfying to see it come together!
After that, I attached the yoke to the black part of the bodysuit. Something to note is that I did choose to do a full bodysuit instead of a two-piece uniform as seen on the screen. The final product is pretty similar, but I couldn't figure out a good way to get a fitted, satisfying silhouette with my body type with a two-piece style due to the extra bulk. To fit the jumpsuit, I used two darts in the front and two in the back.
The sleeves got a little complicated, but I eventually figured it out. My machine hated me during the process, but it was worth it. I started by making a full sleeve, then cut off the top to pattern the quilted grey part.
Unfinished, the sleeve was very baggy (I made it too long and just bunched it up in the first photo, but I fixed it later as you can see in the second photo!)
Before completely finishing the jumpsuit, I started on the undershirt. I went with blue for a science officer because not only do I have an OC who is a scientist that I want to eventually try cosplaying in this uniform, but it's also the most flattering color on me of the three I think. ;)
I used a cotton jersey fabric that I ordered online. I am always worried about buying fabric online (and really don't like doing it) so I was relieved when it arrived being exactly what I expected!
First, I started by sewing a basic T-shirt shape. I knew I was going to have issues with bulk due to the tightness of the jumpsuit, so I improvised as I went!
I wanted the shirt to be more form-fitting so I made darts on the sides to define the bust area.
Then, I just made the whole thing a crop top for optimal comfort. Of course, I then split this whole thing down the middle to add the zipper.
This was another mildly frustrating part. I had to fold and sew each side individually before adding the zipper because I wanted to make sure I got an even front with no mishaps.
As you can tell, the front still laid a bit oddly until I added the hook and eyes to keep the collar together. I was honestly surprised in what a difference just a couple closures made on something that seemed so simple. The zipper was also too visible for my preference, but I could only find separating zippers in white and black. I did fix this later on!
At this point, I was also trying out some different ways of making rank pips. I finally settled on these little magnets even though they were silver because putting clay over them didn't go as planned. (I do want to eventually get different pips and improve this cosplay because it's a very simple little thing to change!)
So now I fixed my zipper problem. While I was at it, I also colored the hook and eye closures on the collar. One issue with this method is that you have to get it a little wet afterwards to make sure it won't bleed on your skin when you wear it (though even after getting it wet it still might, just less so in my experience.) This is one reason I am very grateful that this undershirt is machine washable! The jumpsuit, however, is not. Washing the top did help with the bleeding while the color stayed, so I would say that if you're going to color a zipper with a Sharpie or other type of permanent marker it might be best if your garment is machine washable.
Here's my nearly finished little crop top! After this, I hemmed the sleeves and finished the bottom hem.
I went back and added shoulder pads into the jumpsuit. I debated doing this because the top was already so bulky, but I feel like most Star Trek uniforms need them. It made the shoulders overall look less saggy and more professional. I think it's also worth noting that I put fray check on the entire inside of the jumpsuit even after zig-zagging to finish the raw edges because I move around a lot and while I was testing the movement range of the uniform it started fraying like no other. Since the fray check, I haven't had any problems, though there are a few areas that ended up too hard because I put too much on. Luckily, these areas are on the torso where the undershirt protects my skin so it isn't scratchy!
The final step in finishing the jumpsuit was hand-sewing on the trim on the cuffs. I tried to sew them by machine, but the two fabrics weren't easy to attach together and the cuff didn't stretch quite enough. The hand sewing also meant there were no seam lines, which I think ended up looking extra clean.
So that's about it for the construction, but I want to talk a little about my accessories.
I purchased the combadge from a dealer at a con a couple years ago. It is metal and shiny (unlike the plastic/resin combadges seen in the show) so I felt like I wanted my pips to match. Online, pips are kind of expensive and I've noticed that a lot of them are actually a bit too oversized for my liking (but maybe that's because I have a disproportionately skinny neck.) So I knew I had to DIY. I settled on using these tiny magnets called earth magnets after a tip from my dad. I attached them with a small piece of magnetic tape that I cut down to size to ensure they wouldn't stack on top of each other. These magnets stick to each other very easily, and if you wear more than one attached just by using two back-to-back, they will end up in a big stack. So, if you wanted to try this and be an ensign, you might be able to get away with not using the tape. Clearly, I wanted to be a commander. Be careful where you store any extras!
So that was my Star Trek uniform construction process! If you liked this and want to see more of these posts, let me know!
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